27 May -- London, UK -- On 23 January the International Court of Justice agreed to several provisional measures against Burma in response to allegations of genocide. Among those measures was one requiring Burma to report on their progress four months after the hearing, to demonstrate the steps they’ve taken to protect the minority Rohingya and stop any activity that would contribute to genocide. With the date now arrived it is clear Burma has done little to nothing to protect the minority and in many instances the situation has gotten worse as the conflict between the Burmese Army and the ethnic insurgent group, Arakan Army, escalates at severe cost to civilians.
“As the Burmese Government lies to the world about steps they’ve taken for the vulnerable they continue to suffer in plain sight. The provisional measures imposed by the ICJ can only be enforced with the support of the international community and now it is more important than ever for them to do so. The arbitrary arrest, torture, and murder of civilians has continued in Rakhine State and are now affecting ethnic Rakhine as well as Rohingya. Burma may claim a great deal of progress has been made, but their empty words cannot hide their continuing crimes,” said BHRN Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
23 May, 2020 -- London, UK -- Local residents and parliamentarians said that the Burmese army burnt down 202 houses in Lakka Village, located 7 miles north of Mrauk U Township in Rakhine State at around 1 pm on May 16. According to eyewitnesses, villagers from Bu Ywat Manyo Village, troops departed from Tain Nyo village in Mrauk-U Township and on the way to Lakka Village soldiers opened fire with heavy artillery from a close distance hitting their houses before burning down all the houses in the village. These eyewitnesses identified the soldiers as belong to Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 8 under Burma Army's 44th Division. Lakka Village is populated Rakhine Buddhist and Burma Army accused the villagers link with Arakan Army.
Burmese Army continues
“Despite Burma facing a case at the International Court of Justice, the Burmese Army continues to disregard international law and the lives of civilians. These most recent attacks on civilians must be met with outcry from the international community and demands that attacks on civilians must stop immediately. The world can no longer remain silent and fail the most vulnerable” said BHRN Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
London, UK -- Following the announcement of the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, BHRN calls on Bangladesh to restore internet access in refugee areas and for all relevant authorities to take further measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the densely populated refugee community. Currently, four Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have tested positive for the highly contagious virus and activists fear if it spreads further it will be devastating to the population.
The right to internet access for everyone in order to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and opinion is a fundamental human right that every state has a responsibility to ensure. Because of this Bangladesh must make sure internet access is available and the state must not restrict access, especially in this uncertain time of global pandemic,” said BHRN Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
London, UK -- Burma Human Rights Network calls on the international community to intervene in the conflict in Rakhine State between the Burmese Army and the Arakan Army, as fighting continues to cause death and suffering to the civilian population. This comes despite praise for the military by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who issued a statement on 23 April applauding soldiers for protecting civilians.
“The International Community must take steps to initiate a ceasefire between the Arakan Army and the Burmese Military to prevent further death and suffering among the civilian population. In doing so Burma must also be held accountable for continued attacks on civilians in Rakhine and Chin States and violations to the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s statements show that the Burmese government has no connection to reality and that the future of the conflict will disregard the safety of civilians while claiming they were a priority,” Said BHRN’s executive director, Kyaw Win.